June US Automobile Sales Disappoint
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Consumer demand for pickups and SUVs drove US auto sales in June, but the growth fell short of estimates as General Motors (NYSE:GM), Toyota Motor Corp (NYSE:TMC) and Volkswagen (OTCMKT:VLKAY) sold fewer vehicles.
Estimates from major automobile makers backed analysts’ projection that the US industry has peaked in Y 2015, when a record 17.47-M vehicles were sold.
Toyota said it estimated the annualized selling rate under 17-M. GM pointed to 17-M, while Ford (NYSE:F) put its estimate in the “low to mid 17-M range”.
Toyota reported a 5.6% fall in its June sales to 198,257 vehicles, primarily due to lower sales of its luxury sedans, despite having an extra selling day.
GM, the biggest US automobile maker, said its sales fell 1.6% to 255,210 vehicles in June due to lower sales of Buick and GMC vehicles as the company cut lower-margin sales to US rental car fleets.
GM Chief Economist Mustafa Mohatarem said historically low interest rates, stable fuel prices, rising wages and near-full employment would drive strong auto sales in 2-H of Y 2016.
Volkswagen of America sales fell 21.8 % to 23,809.
Nissan Group stood out with a 13% rise in June sales to 140,553 as demand rose for its Frontier pickups and Rogue crossover SUVs.
Ford Motor Co sales rose 6.4% as it sold more trucks, while higher demand for the Jeep brand drove Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles (NYSE:FCAU) sales up by 7%.
Honda Motor Co (NYSE:HMC) reported a 3.2% rise in sales, helped by strong demand for both its cars and light trucks.
Marketing research firm J.D. Power and LMC Automotive has said it expects US light vehicle sales for June to rise 5% to 1.55-M.
When 12 companies reported, the total sales growth stood at only 2%.
Ford, which sold 240,109 vehicles in June, projected total industry sales, including medium and heavy trucks, of 1.56-M. Ford was helped by higher demand for its trucks.
“Consumer demand for Ford SUVs also continues to surge to all-time highs,” Ford VP Mark LaNeve said.
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